I love this interview with Jenny, it’s packed full of inspiration. From body image concerns to fitting exercise into her busy day. From learning to guide a visually impaired runner to being a role model for her patients. Her stories of breast cancer, depression and odd shaped bottoms will have you reaching for your parkrun barcode. I’m super grateful to her for sharing her life so we can all benefit from her wisdom and enthusiasm. A true #ActiveWoman.
It doesn’t have to be a major health barrier that stops us from being active. Often it’s just everyday life making us feel too tired or a dose of self-conciousness preventing us stepping out the front door. In this, the 4th interview in my Active Women series, I talk to Cheryl Speight who overcomes these types of barriers and reminds us that we can do it too. What have we got to lose?
Keeping active when you have kids can be really hard. Carving out time for yourself to get out and do some exercise is a daily challenge. I often use the hashtag #activefamily because I’ve discovered that one of the best ways to get my daily dose of activity is to make it a family affair. This is particularly the case during school holidays and there are a lot of those! With a bit of imagination you can turn any trip into a work out for every member of the family, without them even realising what you’re doing!
I’m keen on self-reflection. I wrote a diary for years as a child and I dip in again from time to time now. I find it very therapeutic and I just LOVE reading it back. It helps me to be grateful for all I have and to set targets for the year ahead. It’s amazing how much you forget, even in the space of a year. I guess blogging and vlogging kind of replaces a diary in some ways but I’ll still be making my yearly entry looking back on the year I’ve had and making plans for 2016.
Yesterday my milkman asked me what the 261 number on my running top meant. I didn’t want to make him late for the rest of his deliveries but I really wanted to tell him about it. You see it means lots of different things, is very important to me and its powerful message will help so many women. It’s a number you’re going to see popping up more and more all over the place in years to come. Let me explain.
There are so many things in life to feel guilty about and I strongly believe that exercise shouldn’t be one of them. A common answer when I ask a patient how much exercise they do, is, “Not as much as I should”. Getting some exercise seems to form part of a big list of targets we’re told we need to achieve in our daily lives; eat your five a day, drink lots of water, not too much sugar, fat, alcohol, get some screen free time, spend quality time with loved ones etc etc. We can end the day feeling like a failure and realistically, who manages this long list on a daily basis? This is why we need to fundamentally change the way we think about exercise and this involves every single one of us.
I’m busy, busy, busy at the moment and I don’t have time to go for a run AND take the dog for a walk so I’m combining the two and dog-running. I don’t really like to take my dog Honey too far on the road as I worry about her paws getting sore. She also pulls on the lead, unpredictably veers off into on-coming traffic and randomly stops for a sniff or a wee sending me head over heels on top of her. It’s far more enjoyable (and less stressful) for both if us if she’s off the lead, running and stopping as she pleases. This leaves me free to enjoy the views and be my own pacer!
This is an updated post from my blogging days on Tumblr. It was very popular and I felt it deserved a bit of a revamp for my lovely WordPress home. The benefits of exercise are widely known (and worth their own blog). We need to get everyone moving to improve the health of the nation. As a GP I feel a real responsibility to let patients know how exercise is a powerful tool for improving their health and well being. I’m still finding the best ways to do this.
I’m delighted to have been asked to be the Resident GP for UK Sports Chat. If you haven’t heard about this fantastic, growing community then let me fill you in.